Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Faith, Hope and Charity

I hadn't blogged all summer and then I had 3 all in a row.  My last two were average and don't seem to be sparking much commenting.  I am worried that hidden behind those is my previous post which many people may have missed.  So I am posting it again:

Today marks the beginning of a new era.  Even though I moved into my house 4 months ago I still had one foot in my old apartment.  I felt like I never really left because I had so many friends there.  Apartment 30 was still like my home, I even had a toothbrush I kept there. 

There had been a group of us who had been there for 3 years or so and now everybody finally went their separate ways.  Many of my new friends are also going other places this fall.  Luckily, I still have many that I can call my friends there and will continue to visit and keep in contact with.  But today Sparks II Apartments died a little. 

Today two of my best friends moved in with me.  It will be really nice to have people around here.  I LOVED having my own space, but being alone wasn't always amazing.  I learned a lot this summer and felt that one benefit of having a summer by myself was getting to see who I was.  I wasn't going through my day doing what was convenient or just following other people around. I had to actively choose what I was going to do, who I was going to be.  Would I just sit at home by myself or go and be somewhat social. 

I remember the first Sunday here I decided to go to the family ward, so I could meet my neighbors.  It was really weird as I was getting ready.  Nobody else would know if I went, nobody was expecting me to be there, I don't think I had ever gone to church by myself before that.  I tried to start good habits this summer, unclutter myself from the world a little bit and become a little better.  I was far from perfect, but I felt like I had a very productive summer and am a better person than I was 4 months ago.

Now that I have had more time to think and work on myself individually, I get to see if I can take those small improvements and continue to work on them while surrounded, again, by others.  Luckily I surround myself with people that make that easy.  Sometimes you look back and realize how far you have come.  Sadly, there are times when you realize you haven't done as much as you would have liked or have let yourself go in the wrong direction.  I hope that this is a stepping stone and that I can return to where I want to be. 

Another thing I also got more into this summer was politics.  Once I had DVR one of the programs I had it save was Glenn Beck.  For those of you who haven't actually watched him, and have only heard about him, good or bad, you are missing out.  I especially love his Friday episodes where he has been talking about our founders and other people who have been taken out of our history.  I love being able to sit and learn about our American history.  The reason I bring this up is that this also helped me in improving myself.  He issued a 40 day and 40 night pledge to to practice faith, hope and charity.  From his website:

For the next 40 days and 40 nights, I pledge...I COVENANT to practice faith, hope and charity by doing these things.

First...faith. I will pray on my knees every night for the next 40 nights...starting TONIGHT. Pray for guidance, inspiration, peace...pray for the leaders of our country. Pray for their safety, and that they will receive wisdom. I will re-establish my relationship with God.

Hope...hope comes from truth. You can't have hope based on lies. If you go to the doctor and you're in the early stages of cancer, but the doctor tells you that you just have the sniffles...that's false hope, and it won't help you, in fact, it would kill you. So, we have to have honesty, to have real hope. So, I will stop all lies for the next 40 days. That includes lying to myself. I will establish a pattern of honesty and make it become habitual. I will question with boldness...everything...even the things Glenn Beck tells you every night...I will do my own research...and then pray for my own confirmation on the things I have learned. I will find out what is true in my life.

And third...I will have charity. Charity begins at home. I will do something kind for every member of your family at least once a week. I will write it down, and then do it. Also, I pledge to take notice of how blessed I really am. I live in the greatest country the world has ever known...and even the least prosperous among us, are among the wealthiest people in the world...I will be grateful.

It continues if you want to read the rest and make this pledge you can go here:  http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/39452/

I don't understand why so many people hate Glenn Beck.  I have watched every episode from his show the last few months and all he talks about are finding truth for yourself and trying to be a better person.  Because the "Change" everybody is hoping for can't be one made by the government, it has to be individual.  What makes America great are the people, not those looking at Americans as foolish and unable to take care of their own problems and managing our lives for us.  I have taken this pledge and feel I am better for it.

I know this has gotten really long, but the point of it all is...  I am grateful for all of the amazing friends I have.  I am glad that I was able to see how strong I really am and that I truly have a desire to improve and that I can and will succeed in doing so.  I have come closer to God and whenever that happens you always have a desire to share that and bring that joy to others.  So I invite you to do so.  We need to return to God, His is the only way that will lead us to peace and joy, there is no other way. 

One chapter of my life may now have ended, but I have a feeling this next chapter in my life is going to be a great one!  Don't worry sparks, I'll still come and visit you, at least whenever I come down to watch BYU football and when you invite me to awesome things you are doing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Part 2: Favorite Quotes

Twitter allows you to quote someone else (retweet).  Some of these are just good old fashioned quotes, and some are things that other people said that I just had to pass along to people who follow me.  Some of these I got from school or other places that I found and then posted on my page.

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you! @kasons4 RT by @jessibradshaw

Not a single time have we gotten a right from Congress or from the President. We get them from God. @glennbeck

Like this #quote: Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a pool. @LDSguy

"What good is success if you're not willing to share it." -Karl Malone

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles @LDStweets

Today I will behave as though this day is the one by which I shall be remembered. -RA Twerski

A writer is someone who is enormously taken by things other people would just walk on by. -James Dickey

While we must always begin from where we are, we need not stay where we are. –Maxwell

Are you and I helping our children become agents? Or have we trained our children to wait and be acted upon. -Elder Bednar

Barely survived another daylight saving time, or as i call it, nightdark stealing time. -Stephen Colbert

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Tomorrow is earth day. so don't forget to stick around tomorrow and be on earth. -Stephen Colbert

I do not want to go back to the past I want to go back to the past way of facing the future. –President Regan. via Elder Perry

Kindergarten safety tip: do not swim in hot lava. -seen on picture hung in the hall.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Year in Review

Every August I do a lot of reflecting.  It is my birthday as well as the time when school starts.  I usually set goals and think about where I was a year ago and where I would like to be in a year.  One year ago on August 1st I joined Twitter.  The main reason I got it was because I heard Deron Williams posted some awesome stuff there and I go NBA crazy in the summer when nothing is going on.  Since then I have gotten into it and especially during conference I can go a little crazy, I apologize.  In a little over a year I have 256 tweets that I have saved on there.  I went through today and read them all and it is amazing what has happened in the past year.  I went from finishing my first year of teaching and living in an apartment to now starting my 3rd and living in my new house.  I have picked some of my favorites, about 40 to share with you as part of my year in review.  I have divided them into two parts, today will be things I posted and next time will be some of my favorite quotes.  Remember a 'tweet' can only be 140 characters long so sometimes you have to get creative.  In true twitter style starting with the most recent and going to a year ago:

As I was driving today I decided that if I ever own a deli my slogan will be: Get in my Deli! Dave's Delightful Deli Debuts December!

Yesterday @woodypaige said If you can read this thank your teacher. No thanks, so either they can't read or they don't watch @AroundTheHorn.

Today I used @oldspice deodorant, body wash and after shave. Mountains crumbled before me then grew 2X as tall as a monument to my greatness.

I added blueberries and a banana to my protein shake today, instead of strawberries and a banana. I love when I get creative in the kitchen.

My pillow exploded in the wash, are you not supposed to do that? So I am conveniently on my way to wal-mart.

Make the @glennbeck pledge. I pledge to practice faith, hope and charity. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/39452/

5 of the 9 options in the District Soda Machine are Diet Coke and 2 are Coke. I guess we know what teachers like. Drinking Fountain for me!

Lebron finally made a decision, to join twitter... @kingjames

I have been watching this program, what's great about america. We really are lucky and live in an amazing place.

Isner tied at 59, continues tomorrow. This set alone easily beat the previous record for longest match. Amazing!

@Utah_Jazz I am really excited about the draft party! I hope that if I boo, it will be because we are getting our next John Stockton.

I am excited for grandparents day today, especially because one of my students grandparents were my mission presidents! Can't wait to see em.

I am now the proud owner of a ladder! A guy came to my house today and asked if I was remodeling, I said no I just don't own anything.

I have a tweetimony of conference! RT @LDSTroy I love being a 'Twaint' in the Twitter Stake of Zion. #ldsconf

Just watched DWill on the Jazz do the chicken dance. It was awesome!

You can change the words in my mission statement but you cant change my desire 2 B a positive influence for good in the lives of my students.

Old Spice has such amazing commercials! I commit you to buy their products and support their writers, I promise it will bless your life. 6:19 PM Feb 14th via web

I decided the only thing more boring than watching cars drive in circles all day is to watch a pot hole get fixed, Nascar fans did both.

Finally went and saw Avatar, loved it, even though Pocahontas was played by a giant blue lady.

We just had someone fish us a Merry Christmas. What are we going to do with the fish though?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Turkey Suit Up!

You can't buy the necessities of life with cookies.

If you would have told me two months ago that Real Salt Lake was going to win the Eastern Conference Finals I would have called you crazy.

I love General Conference! So far my favorite line though, is how the kids sing songs about streams that talk and trees that grow popcorn.

Today I learned that prayer works. During the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting, he blessed us that we would not fall asleep, I didn't :(

Suppose you buy an item that costs $5.03, why might you give the salesperson $10.03? My student answered: Because he'll just give it back.

So that is a small part of my year in review, some of these will make no sense to most of you, but they brought back a lot of memories for me. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oregon Trail

I have been a horrible blogger this summer. One of the main reasons is I don't have internet at my house, that will be overcome next week. This is not a very good excuse, because I spend a lot of time at my old apartment. This is where I am now. This summer I have been very busy with classes and has not had much time for crazy exciting adventures. Luckily I did have half a week to go to Oregon and Washington.

As part of this drive/trip we followed the Oregon Trail and went to a few Lewis and Clark sites.  We had a lot of fun and we learned a little history too.  Later this week or next, I will blog about all of the fun things we did at the beach and in Seattle.